On My Soapbox: Here is the opportunity

For the first time ever, Taylor has a giant Christmas tree in the middle of Heritage Square. It only took crews one business day to build the 30-foot tree. Photo by Jason Hennington

Last year, I wrote a column about Taylor possibly becoming a holiday destination. With the addition of the 30-foot Christmas tree, this is the city’s opportunity to make it happen.

One of the biggest and most supported events in town is the annual Parade of Lights. I’m not going to waste time arguing because there is always a big crowd that stretches several blocks in the cold (well, Texas cold).

This year, there will be a tree lighting after the parade. Santa is expected to be greeted by dignitaries before he flips the switch to officially start the holiday season.

Now, imagine if that happened on Saturday night at the end of a Taylor Made Holiday Festival, and was the opening of a trail of lights event. Something similar to Blackland Prairie Days where Second to Fifth streets are shut down, and there is a band playing on a side street. There could also be an ice-skating ring and maybe a photo booth setup with holiday decorations.

The wine swirl is the night before, so why not have an area setup for an additional wine-tasting during the day? They could even sell tickets around it.

In addition to those activities, bring in food vendors that doesn’t usually come to town during the summer.

This would also be a good time to upgrade the Christmas lights and decorations that are used every year. More up-to-date light displays could be used for photo ops and add to the décor.

However, the old lights don’t have to be done away with. They could be placed in some of the other park or used in a certain section of Heritage Square and labeled, “Old Tyme Taylor.”

If there is a ceremony to turn on the lights in downtown after the festival and parade, people would travel from all over to attend. The festival would draw people to town, the parade would get them to stay and the Taylor Made Walk of Lights would get them to comeback.

This would not only build up that first weekend in December, but second Saturday and Third Thursday would really benefit from the boom of visitors. Taylor could become a must-stop destination for visitors.

All of this is a dream, a very large attainable dream, but nothing more than a dream. There are costs associated with getting the lights and closing streets. But with all the extra visitors and money spent in town, why not reach for that goal?

Let’s see how this year goes.

I’m going to get off my soapbox now, but before I do, I want to leave you with a thought . . . surely not everybody was Kung-Fu fighting. I know there was funky Chinamen from funky Chinatown, funky Billy Chin and little Sammy Chung. But what about the waiter, the chef or the DJ?

“I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

- Maya Angelou

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